Fighting Inflammation to Restore Your Health

Inflammation is a natural process that assists our bodies with healing following injuries. However, when inflammation continues too long or wages war on our own healthy cells, as it does in autoimmune diseases, it can actually impede longterm health.

Silent inflammation increases the probability of certain illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and stroke. It can also lead to autoimmune diseases from lupus to rheumatoid arthritis. There is hope. Making simple and not so simple lifestyle changes to diet, exercise routine, and more can often lessen ongoing inflammation.

Tips to help fight inflammation:
• Eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies
• Avoid exposure to pesticides in our food and gardens
• Use more natural cleaning and beauty products
• Limit food additives, such as MSG and salt
• Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
• Meditate to ward off stress
• Exercise moderately

If this sounds daunting, identify one or two culprits and begin there. Enjoy a bounty of anti-inflammatory fruits and vegetables. Feast on delicious low-mercury, high-omega-3 fish and seafood, such as wild salmon, sardines, cod, tilapia, shrimp, oysters, scallops, and crab. Minimize foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as dairy and red meat. Limit partially hydrogenated oils; sugary foods; cooking oils and margarines high in omega-6 fatty acids, such as corn, safflower, and sunflower oils; and refined carbohydrates, such as white rice and bread. Exchange white rice for brown rice or quinoa. Eat a few almonds or walnuts instead of bread. Add salsa to food for flavor in lieu of salt or added fat. Eat more foods rich in omega-3s.

Leave the pain behind and begin the fight against chronic inflammation today.

by Lori Berezin